Seahawks vs. Cardinals: Seattle's Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 14
There’s a lot to be excited about concerning the Seattle Seahawks after their jaw-dropping performance on Sunday.
They simply drubbed the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 58-0, all while setting records for points scored and the largest shutout in franchise history. They scored in a variety of ways, including two defensive touchdowns.
The defense forced eight Arizona turnovers, four fumbles and four interceptions, and inched one step closer to a playoff berth. It was a big day for a number of Seahawks, and they were fortunate to avoid major mistakes.
The offense did all it needed to on Sunday against a Cardinals defense that ranked third in pass defense coming into the game.
Obviously, there were a lot of winners from Sunday’s game; here are a few of them.
Winner: Richard Sherman
He scored more points than the Arizona Cardinals.
That alone should illustrate the type of game Richard Sherman had for the Hawks defense. He looked extremely focused all day long and simply wasn’t allowing the Cardinals to throw to his side of the field.
Sherman finished the game with two interceptions, a fumble recovery and one touchdown. Without fellow starting cornerback Brandon Browner, who missed the game due to a suspension, Sherman filled any void felt by Browner’s absence.
He was largely seemingly attached to Larry Fitzgerald for most of the game, and Fitzgerald surely was affected. He finished the game with one catch for two yards, far below his average of 4.3 catches per game.
Sherman is having an unbelievable season, and he sustained his Pro Bowl-caliber play against Arizona.
Loser: Seattle's Maturity
Really the only knock against the Hawks on Sunday revolved around their maturity. It involved boneheaded penalties that simply weren’t necessary.
Breno Giacomini was guilty early in the day, and fellow lineman J.R. Sweezy had a headbutting penalty against him. There was also some fighting and tussling after the whistle after the game was out of hand.
It’s a small part of the game that happens at times, but the Seahawks need to avoid them. With three regular-season games remaining, the Seahawks should continue to clean up their weaknesses.
Winner: Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin
These guys were the catalyst to the Seahawks offense for much of the game.
Marshawn Lynch finished with 128 yards on only 11 carries and three touchdowns. His day was done early as he was on the sidelines for a majority of the second half.
He looked downright spectacular in the first half, however, as he consistently shredded the Cardinals porous run defense. Lynch looked powerful as he ran through multiple defenders at numerous times on Sunday.
His early exit made way for Robert Turbin’s impressive day as well.
Turbin collected a career-high 108 rushing yards on 20 carries and looked like an admirable replacement for Lynch. Turbin’s performance was overshadowed by the guy above him on the depth chart, but it’s worth noting that Turbin looked great in his first extended exposure of the season.
Leon Washington capped the Seahawks' scoring as he also collected 38 yards.
Couple that with Russell Wilson’s scrambling yards and Seattle finished the afternoon with 284 rushing yards.
Winner: Offensive Line
Obviously, for that much success on the ground, the big men up front had to do their part as well.
The offensive line consistently held the Cardinals defensive front at bay and set up big holes for Lynch and Turbin to get through. Arizona boasts a talented defense, but they were constantly having problems getting through the Seahawks offensive front.
They gave up only one sack, and that came on the Seahawks’ first possession of the game. That seemed to be the only blocking breakdown of the game, which is a positive sign moving forward.
Another impressive aspect of the game was the Cardinals' inability to get to the backfield. They finished with only three tackles for loss and only three quarterback hits. The offensive line kept Russell Wilson upright and protected their running backs for the entire game.
Winner: Bobby Wagner
He led the team in tackles.
He was tied for the lead in interceptions.
He simply had a marvelous game on Sunday, finishing with eight tackles, two interceptions and two passes defended. Bobby Wagner was all over the field, like he has been all season, and left a lasting impact.
Like other Seahawks, Wagner proved to be more mature than his age would indicate and is quietly turning himself into quite the interior linebacker. The Cardinals finished with 43 rushing yards and were seeing No. 54 all over the field.
With the season winding down, the Seahawks will need Wagner to continue his steady ascension toward the top linebackers in the game.
Winner: Anthony McCoy
I can’t go without at least mentioning Anthony McCoy’s performance on Sunday.
He was the only Seahawks receiver who went over 100 yards, and although he did not get into the end zone, McCoy made the most of his opportunities.
He had three catches on only three targets and finished with 105 yards.
He also had the longest play of the day as he found himself open downfield and hauled in a 67-yard pass where he nearly scored.
He burned the defense and went deep and then outran all but one Cardinals defender. He delivered a punishing stiff arm to William Gay, but Gay was able to bring down McCoy inside the 5-yard line.
McCoy was the most consistent Seahawks receiver on Sunday, and hopefully, he continues to get open.